WRESTLING HERITAGE

British wrestling history 
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J: Taffy John Jenkins

Lady Caroline and Taffy Jenkins
Taffy Jenkins (Upright) and Mick Collins

John Jenkins, R.I.P.

1948 - 2020

Leicester's John Taffy Jenkins was one of the youngest wrestlers in the country when he began wrestling professionally in 1962. That first bout was against his friend Mick Collins, and both youngsters had been trained by Jack Taylor, wrestler and owner of International Promotions. He was just 14 years old at the time, and Jack Taylor put on a schoolboy match between John and Mick Collins in the cavernous Granby Halls, Leicester.  John and Mick didn't receive any pay for that match but he recalled to us that  they both benefited from the coins thrown into the ring by appreciative fans.

In the two years that followed Taffy and Mick travelled the country with Jack Taylor learning the trade and putting on their bout as much as five or six times a week., ”In the meantime we had both left school and were working for Jack travelling around the country putting up the rings and wrestling at nightime,taking down the ring and travelling home.”

As he grew in size and experience Jack put Taffy on with more experienced wrestlers, including Eddie Capelli, Ken Joyce,Cyril Knowles, Eric Sands,Reg Ray, Spike O'Reiily,Brian Maxine,Johnny Saint, and many,many more. We saw him in action for the first time in 1965, wrestling a fast and furious eight tound draw against Doncaster’s Earl McCready, who was the son of Dai Sullivan.
 
In his late teens Taffy  attracted the attention of Joint Promotions through an introduction by  Pete and John Lapaque. During his  time with Joint Promotions Taffy  wrestled all over the country and came up against all the top men at the time including Jackie Pallo (6 times), Pete Roberts, Rollerball Rocco,John Naylor, Marty Jones, Alan Sergeant, Catweazle, Johnny Czeslaw,Tally ho Kaye, Bert Royal, Vic Faulkner, Alan Dennison,Alan Kilby,John Kowalski and many, many more.

Never losing his love for wrestling John did become disillusioned that the promoters' respect for him as a worker did not lead to top of the bill status and took a sabbatical from wrestling during which he  joined the Leicestershire Constabulary whilst having a young wife and a new baby.  He stayed in the job for four years and  returned to the ring working for Brian Dixon.

Taffy drifted out of wrestling in the mid 1990s, but that wasn't the end of the story. He returned to the ring in 2005, and had his final match three years later, at sixty years of age!

John “Taffy” Jenkins died on 21st April, 2020 following a car crash.